Tuesday, February 20, 2018

February 2012 Message from the Guildmaster

February 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Message from the Guildmaster

Our annual meeting is just around the corner.  If you have not sent in your dues and registration form, the deadline is February 24th, 2012.  If you plan to enter the horn strap/drinking vessel contest you can bring the item with you or send it to me and I will bring it for you. Time is running out.

This year’s meeting is promising to be one the best ever.  The Journeymen will be joining with the Masters at the Masters Benches to share their knowledge and experience in the art of hornwork.  Don’t miss out on this opportunity and don’t forget your pen and notepad.

The annual meeting of the membership will take place mid- morning on Friday.  The banquet will be Saturday night.

My temporary stewardship of the Guild will come to an end at the banquet with the passing of the horn ceremony.  It was a rewarding and humbling experience that I will cherish for years to come.  In my last message for our web site, I would like to thank all our viewers and those of you who used the contact us section. I hope we answered all your questions satisfactorily.  I am looking forward to the camaraderie at our annual meeting, see you there.


Ed Long
HCH Guildmaster

A Pile of Possibilities!

January 2012 Message from the Guildmaster

January 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Message from the Guildmaster


The Honourable Company of Horners is again saddened to learn of the passing of another great horn worker and supplier of horn, John Plybon.  John was truly a pioneer in horn work and was the first recipient of the Guild’s prestigious “Lanthorn Award”. We offer our condolences to the Plybon family who are in our thoughts and prayers. God bless you John and thank you for your contribution, may you rest in peace.

Another year has rapidly passed and all members should be gearing up for our big event, the 2012 Annual Meeting.  The meeting will be held March 2nd and 3rd, at the USAHEC in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

This year, due to our nation’s economic times, members planning to attend will not be charged a registration fee for our annual meeting; the Guild will absorb the registration fee. However your dues for 2012 must be current to gain entrance. Display tables will be $10.00 each, we are limited to 36. The cost for the banquet will be $30.00 per person.

The main theme will be centered around education, with hands on work stations manned by Master Horners assisted by Journeymen.  All phases of work will be covered from the selection of raw horn for your particular project, to the finished item.
Listed are some of the events that will take place:

  • Freeman Cheryl Davidson will open ceremonies on Friday morning singing our National Anthem.
  • The Guild’s ceremonial blowing horn will be unveiled.
  • The blowing horn/drinking vessel contest will be judged.
  • The member’s annual horn contest will be held and judged on entries in Contemporary Engraved Horn, Traditional Engraved Horn, Carved Horn, plus Horn and Bag and Horn Objects.
  • The Guild’s horn and bag for raffle, donated by GM Elect Jeff Bibb and Publications Chair Billy Griner, will be on display.
  • All members registering will have their name placed in a drawing for a special door prize, a beautiful adjustable powder measure turned from horn, donated by Freeman Dave Rase.
  • There will be a display table of original blowing horns.
  • Our Spring Pole Lathe will be on display and demonstrated.
  • Members will have their hornware and related items on display.

The annual business meeting will be held Friday morning. The banquet will be Saturday evening and in addition to the meal there will be an Awards Ceremony with a special guest speaker.  The event will conclude with the Passing of the Horn followed by Freeman Davidson singing God Bless America.

All members attending are encouraged to dress in 18th, early 19th Century attire throughout the event including the banquet.  Members acquiring display tables are requested to refrain from the sales of imported items; however, they may be part of an educational display and identified as such.  Examples include, a bowl made in India or spoon made in China, etc.  Display area will be open to visitors at no charge.

In the upcoming week there will be a separate mailing to all members to include a registration form for return to our Treasurer.

In parting, I would like to congratulate Freeman Carl Dumke and Jim Leach on their recent advancement to Journeyman.

Best Regards,
Ed Long
HCH Guildmaster

Carl Dumke Journeyman, Roland Cadle Master Horner and Jim Leach Journeyman


About Regional Meetings, a Special Announcement

December 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Message from the Guildmaster

The Executive committee met this past November to discuss HCH business and a motion to sanction “official” HCH regional meetings was brought to vote. After much debate and discussion, the motion was defeated.  The following items were taken into consideration before coming to this decision:

Club Resources (both monetary and manpower) – Each year the HCH Annual meeting has grown to attract over 150 members and guests.  This requires monetary support from the HCH as well as several volunteers to step-up, plan, organize and successfully run the event.

Service to the largest group of our members – The executive committee looked at the demographic data on our approximate 400 members.  We found that almost 75 percent of our membership lives east of Illinois and north of South Carolina.  This makes central Pennsylvania within a 6-7 hour drive of the majority of our registered members.  To move the Annual Event even further south, or further west would significantly dilute this proximity to the majority of our members, thus potentially reducing the majorities’ ability to attend.  A decline in attendance supported this data when annual events were held further east in Massachusetts, and an even greater decline in attendance when held in Indiana and North Carolina.

Our Growth – As the HCH has grown, we have found that the type of venue necessary to hold the annual event has changed.  Attendance of 150 plus people requires larger exhibit locations with close proximity to lodging and food.  Event locations should also be close to some attraction that has a historic interest to the 18th century time period our members are most interested in and most 18th century locations are in the eastern part of our country.

However, we did recognize that the meeting should not have a “permanent” home, and that venues should potentially alternate between a Pennsylvania location, and locations to the west and south.  But meetings should remain in the eastern half of the country to reach the greatest number of attendees from the membership.  An event is being planned at the Museum of Appalachia in Tennessee within the next couple of years.

Consistency – We felt that the best way to have high quality HCH events is to focus our “official” efforts on the two events we currently conduct.  The annual meeting in early March and the summer meeting in conjunction with Dixon’s Gunmakers Fair, as long as volunteers step up to operate these events.  Our Awards committee currently provides judges trained to “jury” member’s work for advancement at both of these events.  We felt that before we expand to additional events, we must assure we have sufficient trained members who can apply the same judging standards to future “jurying” procedures.

None of this precludes individual HCH members from planning and holding their own regional event.  A group from the south held a successful event in January with another scheduled for 2012.  A second member held an event, which attracted good attendance as well as new members on the west coast and is planning another event next year.  In fact, we agreed that the HCH would provide access to mailing lists and would promote the dates of any such events in the Horn Book for members who wish to do this.

In closing, it is our responsibility as an organization to maintain our mission statement, “Dedicated to the Research, Preservation and Education of Horn Work” but not at the expense of conducting shows all over the country, it is just not feasible.  One member summed it up with the following statement, “In my years as an HCH member, every project of “value” that the Guild has accomplished has happened because one or more members voluntarily got together and made it happen.  This is how each year’s annual meeting is conducted still.  We don’t exist with paid employees responsible for doing all the work, allowing members to simply sit back and wait for the benefits to fall in their lap just because they “want” something to happen without their effort.”  That is a powerful statement…..as Guildmaster, I concur.

Ed Long
HCH Guildmaster

Ed Long, Guildmaster, shaves down a horn.

December 2011 Message from the Guildmaster

December 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Message from the Guildmaster

Our first fall executive and committee chair meeting is now part of the Guild’s history.  It was extremely productive and hopefully has paved the way for future meetings of this type.  Numerous items were on the table, including a thorough review of the Guild’s by-laws.  The special committee that was appointed to conduct the review has completed the job, and the item is now dissolved.  I would like to thank each committee member for their time and input.

A particular concern of the membership was the interest of HCH Sanctioned Regional Meetings.  Roland Cadle, Consultant to the Executive Committee and Educational Committee chair, presented a motion that the HCH sanction regional meetings.  The motion was seconded by Meetings Chair, Dick Toone.  After a thorough debate, it was put up for vote, which resulted in a unanimous decision against the motion for regional meetings.

Don’t forget to set your plans in motion for our Annual Meeting, March 2nd and 3rd, 2012 at the AHEC Carlisle, Pennsylvania, this promises to be our best ever.  My January message will have more details.  Keep working on your horn strap/drinking vessel contest entries.  The time has been extended right up to the meeting date.

The Christmas season is upon us, to all I wish a,  “Merry Christmas!”

Ed Long
HCH Guildmaster

Executive Committee at Carlisle, PA.

Special Message. The 2012 Annual Meeting and Contest Update.

November 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Message from the Guildmaster

About Our 2012 Annual Meeting

The Honourable Company of Horners 2012 Annual Meeting will be held at the Army Heritage Education Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  The dates for the meeting are, Friday March 2nd and Saturday March 3rd, 2012 with an early set-up on Thursday March 1st.
A block of rooms will be set aside at the Days Inn, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  When making your reservation, mention “horn guild” and you will receive a special discounted rate.  There are other motels in the area which will be listed in future announcements.

>>Here is the link for the Days Inn in Carlisle.<<

Horn Strap/Drinking Vessel Contest Update

Only the winning strap and the winning drinking vessel will be permanently retained by the Guild, all other entries will not become property of the Guild and may be retained by the entrant.  The deadline for submission of items has been extended to the end of February 2012.  If you are coming to the meeting bring the item with you, if you cannot attend mail the item to me and I will bring it for you.

If you intend to participate, and haven’t already done so, please let me know by using our >>Contact Us form.<< Thank You.

Best regards to all,

Ed Long

HCH Guildmaster

November 2011 Message from The Guildmaster

November 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Message from the Guildmaster

Jim Dresslar, The Engraved Powder Horn

The Honourable Company of Horners is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of a true icon for horn workers, collectors and enthusiasts alike; Jim Dresslar.

We offer our condolences to the Dresslar family who are in our thoughts and prayers.  Jim certainly paved the way for all horners with his book; “The Engraved Powder Horn.” I myself have worn one out for the use of research.

God Bless and thank you Jim, may you rest in peace.

Our 2012 Annual meeting will be held March 2nd and 3rd, 2012 at the Army Heritage Education Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  The details will be reported in this column and in the Guild’s Horn Book as they unfold.  This promises to be the best annual event ever.

It is still not too late to enter our Horn Strap/Drinking Vessel contest.  All items for entry should be submitted to me by January 31st, 2012.  We need more members getting involved in this contest.  Don’t forget, there are some great prizes and a chance for you to be a permanent part of Guild’s history.

In two weeks, the Executive Committee and Chairs will be holding its first ever exclusive fall meeting.  Some very important HCH issues will be up for discussion, including the Guild’s by-laws.

On a final note, I would like to wish all a Happy Thanksgiving!

Best Regards,
Ed Long
HCH Guildmaster

Feel free to leave a comment below about Jim Dresslar. He will certainly be missed.

October 2011 Message from The Guildmaster

October 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Message from the Guildmaster


Members of the Honourable Company of Horners; there is a prize update for our blowing horn strap and drinking vessel contest.  Winners in each category will receive:

  • A $100 cash prize
  • A hard copy edition of the Hartley Book
  • A certificate of achievement
  • And be honored guests of the Guild, along with their spouse, at our 2012 Annual Meeting and banquet in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Just a reminder, time is running out on this contest.  The deadline to submit your entry to the Guildmaster is January 31st, 2012.  We need more items for submission, to date there have been no drinking vessel entries.

As mentioned in my June 2011 message, this is a once in a lifetime venture, both winning items will become a permanent part of Guild ceremonies for generations to come.

Here is an important note about the contest; the strap dimensions and design criteria for the drinking vessel were purposely left vague so that no one’s creativity would be constrained.  Your creativity will be factored into the judging.

I am asking that you consider getting involved in this contest; the overall success will be in the best interest of future Guild operations.  Remember you need not be present at the 2012 Annual Meeting to win!  We are looking forward to more entries to spice this up.  Your cooperation is deeply appreciated.


Ed Long,
HCH Guildmaster

I thought you would enjoy a casual photograph of some of the original powder horns in Historic Deerfield’s extensive collection. Here is a link to their website.


July 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Message from the Guildmaster

Is it that time again?  You bet! Just a few weeks away, Dixon’s Gunmakers Fair, the event we all look forward to year after year.  During the evening on the first day of the fair, the HCH will hold the 7th Annual Summer Reception at Jacobsburg Historical Society.  A letter has been sent to all members with the details.  If you plan to attend the summer reception, the deadline for RSVP is July 18th, 2011.

The theme for this year’s HCH table is, “The Engraved Powder Horn.” Members are encouraged to bring their best contemporary or traditional engraved powder horn for display.  The horns will remain on display throughout the show and should be claimed by their owners at the end.

Volunteers will be needed to help man the HCH table.  If you can help out, please check in at the HCH table upon your arrival.  A schedule will be made so we can divide the time evenly.

I look forward to seeing everyone at the Gunmakers Fair and summer reception!


Ed Long
HCH Guildmaster

P.S. Hopefully, you have received a letter about the  HCH 7th Annual Summer Reception.
If you missed it, download it here.


Gathering at the Judge's Table at Dixon's Gunmakers Fair.

June 2011 Message From the Guildmaster

June 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Message from the Guildmaster

Attention all members of the Honourable Company of Horners; would you like to become a permanent part of the Guild’s history? If so, then consider participating in this prestigious Guild contest.  The contest will be open to all members in good standing and judging will take place at our 2012 Annual Meeting. Contestants need not attend the meeting to submit their entry. The contest consists of two categories; blowing horn strap and drinking vessel. The strap is needed for the Guild’s blowing horn, and the drinking vessel will be used by the Guildmaster at each annual meeting for the purpose of presenting a toast.

The strap will hold small metal plaques with the names of past and present Guildmasters.  The blowing horn is predominately black and will be embellished in silver. This will be something to keep in mind when constructing the strap.

The second part of the contest, the drinking vessel, must be made from horn with metal, wood, or other embellishments permitted.

All entrants will receive acknowledgment for their entries.  Winners in each category will receive a certificate acknowledging their work. Winners and spouses will also be guests of the Guild at the banquet.  You may enter one item per category.  All items submitted will become property of the Guild and those not selected as a winner, will either be retained or raffled as a Guild fundraiser.

If you are interested in entering this contest or have questions please use the “CONTACT US” section on our web site.

Thank you and please consider getting involved with your organization.

Ed Long, Guildmaster

Here is a picture of the HCH Blowing Horn. It is a collaborative effort of our Guild’s Founder and Master Horner, Roland Cadle and Master Horner Art DeCamp. It is truly a graceful horn. Once the embellishment is completed by Master Horner John Kiselica, this ceremonial horn will be in a class by itself!
I will keep the Guild posted on the progress of this truly one-of-a-kind horn.

May 2011 Message From the Guildmaster

May 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Message from the Guildmaster

We enjoyed seeing this original horn by the Pointed Tree Carver.

Free to all members of the Guild!  Yes, there is free advertisement on the HCH website under the Classified Section.

Members I urge you to consider taking advantage of this opportunity.   Check out the categories, open to horn work, antique and contemporary, artwork, books, edged items, leather items, firearms pre-1898 and miscellaneous.  You can submit up to four photographs along with a complete description and the asking price.  If you are unable to submit a photograph, then you will need a detailed description of each item.  There is fine workmanship of horns on the HCH members Gallery; perhaps their makers will have others available for the HCH Classified Section.  Purchasing from the HCH Classifieds is available to all viewers of this website.

Speaking of wonderful 18th Century items, I recently attended the 18th Century Market Fair at Fort Frederick in Maryland and was amazed at the quality of work.  This fair is attended by some of the finest craftsmen in the country.  Blacksmiths, gunsmiths, horners, tinsmiths, tentmakers, leather goods, furniture, and pottery were just a few of the crafts displayed.  If you couldn’t find what you wanted or needed here, you may not find it at all.  The Market Fair is usually held around the last weekend in April of each year.  If you are in the area, or you are in the need of some quality 18th Century items, plan on attending in 2012.

Best regards,
Ed Long, Guildmaster
Honourable Company of Horners

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